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Making Co-Teaching Work: Thriving or Surviving? Patricia Hartwig, Ph.D. Model Schools Conference June 2010.

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Presentation on theme: "Making Co-Teaching Work: Thriving or Surviving? Patricia Hartwig, Ph.D. Model Schools Conference June 2010."— Presentation transcript:

1 Making Co-Teaching Work: Thriving or Surviving? Patricia Hartwig, Ph.D. Model Schools Conference June 2010

2 So whos here today? General education teachers? Special Education teachers? Elementary teachers? Middle School teachers? High School? Presently co-teaching? Thinking about co-teaching?

3 Why Co-Teach? It may be your districts policy. It is the law to have students in the Least Restrictive Environment possible. Its good for kids. Its good for teachers.

4 What is Co-Teaching? Co-teaching is two or more people sharing responsibility for some or all of the students in a classroom. Co-teachers can be general and/or special education teachers, sometimes paraprofessionals and peers.

5 Looking at Co-Teaching …as a marriage?

6 Co-Teaching is like marriage because... It can be a love match or an arranged marriage. It can be marriage of convenience. It can be a mixed marriage Its not always 50:50 It takes time to develop a relationship You may need a marriage counselor from time to time

7 Essential Question: Will you and your co-teacher live happily ever after?

8 Choose Your Co-Teaching Career Path: Success? Failure?

9 How do people find great relationships? Some professional advice from

10 Stages of a Relationship: Work on your own strengths first Search for candidates potential Assess their strengths Make choices; begin to bond See what happens: good and bad Find things to respect, admire Get engaged: decide the pieces are in place Grow old: take the buy-out and retire together!

11 Challenges to Co-teaching: Masters of Content VS. Masters of Access

12 The Masters of Content Teachers who have specialized in a content area Who have a passion for their subject Who have deep knowledge of their subject Who use vocabulary outsiders dont understand!

13 The Masters of Access: Special Education teachers, reading and speech/language specialists, ELL teachers Who know how to differentiate instruction Who know how to diagnose student needs and increase their participation Who are f-l-e-x-i-b-l-e!

14 The advantages of co-teaching: Two heads are better than one.

15 How can we make this work for all students? Both partners bring their best to the classroom: Content experts clarify what absolutely must be understood. Access experts scaffold the students to understanding.

16 Lets take a closer look at Co-Teaching Excerpts from A Guide to Co-Teaching by Richard Villa, Jacqueline Thousand and Ann Nevin

17 The Four Main Versions of Co-Teaching Team Teaching Complementary Teaching Parallel Teaching Supportive Co-teaching

18 Lets visit 4 different co-taught classrooms Watch Steven and Stephanie in all four classroom types. 1.What do you see in each type of co- taught classroom? 2.What do you hear? 3. Which teacher does which jobs?

19 Other Versions of Teaching Together Both teachers teach a whole class lesson and both monitor student work. 1. Tag-team (turn teaching) Teachers take turn teaching so that one is on and one is off. The off teacher monitors student work. 2. Speak and Chart One teacher presents information while the other charts or records key points and/or student responses to aid student learning. 3. Duet teaching Both teachers teach the same lesson to the same group of students simultaneously. They alternate brief ideas, give examples, and even complete each others sentences.

20 The Key: Alternating between models

21 Putting co-teaching into practice: Troubleshooting Plan! Theres no substitute for pre-planning. Work out team routines ahead of time. Decide to resolve conflicts by communicating: privately * respectfully * immediately * directly Regroup at the end of the day. Dont overstep your agreed-upon boundaries.

22 One of the biggest obstacles: Parity Do students perceive that the co- teachers are truly partners? e.g. both teachers' names are on the door & report cards both have space for personal belongings in room both teachers work with all students both talk approximately equally during the lesson

23 There is often a language barrier between co-teachers: Differentiation vs. Standards Accommodations vs. Content Mastery Modifications vs. Graduation Requirements The Tower of Babel

24 Differentiation: so that all students learn Another way of describing good teaching Differentiation is a teachers reacting responsibly to a learners needs. (Carol Tomlinson) It refers to the proactive use of a wide repertoire of curricular and instructional approaches which are consistently used with students with diverse needs, abilities, strengths, experiences, and interests in order to best support their learning. (R. Kronberg)

25 Most special ed students will access the general education curriculum with accommodations If the academic content and learning expectations remain the same as for general ed peers, you are making accommodations. Accommodations are intended to lessen the impact of the students disability. Typical examples include: changing the presentation of information to the student changing the students options for responding increasing time limits or providing more breaks changing the setting

26 Some special ed students require a modified curriculum Did you change the students grade level academic content? If yes, this is a modification to general education standards. If the content has been changed, then an alternate assessment must be used.

27 Identifying teacher essentials Two teachers put their ideas together on whats essential: Rules Procedures Positive Behavior Support And…

28 Identifying Content Essentials

29 Identifying Grading Essentials Worst case scenarios: Twas the night before grades are due and… Okay, Okay. You grade your kids; Ill grade mine. Or Ill grade on effort; you can grade on content. Or…

30 The best of grading: Lets have clearly established content criteria in advance; lets have flexibility in demonstrating knowledge and proficiency. Examples: Rubrics Alternative Assessments Authentic Assessments

31 Identifying helpful scaffolds: helping students organize information Marzanos nine instructional practices that improve student performance Use of graphic organizers to organize information Modeling the product for students: the graduated release of responsibility model; think alouds

32 How do we know if we are really co-teaching? We agreed as partners to achieve at least one common agreed-on goal. We believe that each partner has unique and needed experience. We alternate in the role of expert and learner. We model and cooperate how we learn from each other and interact with each other.

33 Tips for Co-Teaching: 1.Prepare kids and parents. 2.Intermix special and general ed students; everyone is ours. 3. Create planning time: cell phones, e-mail, lunch, anything that works. 4. Set up classroom routines and roles; have a master binder. 5.Keep track of IEP requirements. 6.Keep tuning up your partnership

34 Revisit your relationship with your co-teacher: Work on your own strengths first Search for co-teachers strengths Make choices; begin to bond Try it out: See what happens- good and bad Find things to respect, admire about your partner Commit: Get engaged (decide enough pieces are in place) Grow old and retire together!

35 At the end of the day… (Co-teaching) is about two good teachers trying to do the best job possible that day for those students. Kathleen Ellis, Special Education teacher

36 The Power of Two: "The teacher is one who makes two ideas grow where only one grew before." ~~ Elbert Hubbard

37 So how will you and your co- teacher live ever after?

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